Monday, October 31, 2011

The Liebster Award

I learned a new word today. It's "liebster." I was told by both I Luv 2 Save and Cute Coconut that they were passing on to me the "Liebster Blog Award"!

Being the dork that I am, having never heard of that term before, I did a little googling... (yes, I do use google as a verb) And I discovered that the word liebster is actually German for friend, love, or dearest. How sweet! The goal of this award is to spotlight up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers.

So let's spread the love! Here are the "official" rules for this award:

  1. Copy and paste the award on your blog

  2. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you

  3. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog

  4. Hope that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers

Thank you again Ola and Rina!!!

Here are five up-and-coming small blogs that I think you should all check out:

  1. Romance on a Dime - "As a newlywed, my 3 newest passions are healthy cooking, couponing (saving money), and making my house prettier/more organized! I love to share as I learn and discover more ways to save money and make my home beautifully organized."

  2. My WAHM Plan - "Putting the focus on Home on my daily adventures in Wahmdom."

  3. View Along the Way - "This tiny corner of the web is where I chronicle our attempts to fix up our beaten-down home on a teensy little budget. We're not there yet, but here's a peek at the view along the way..."

  4. Family Brings Joy - "There are very small & simple things we can do, no matter your family’s shape or size, to build unity & joy... I like to write about those particular interests that make me happy. These include (but are not limited to) Crafts, Music, Photography, Reading, Running and Blogs."

  5. Cheap Wine and Cookies - Not your "typical" mom blog... "Marine. Lawyer. Mommy. Wife. I have an opinion on everything."

Go visit them! Now! Pretty please! Spread the love. :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Saturday 7: October 22-28

Whew it's been a few weeks since I posted a Saturday 7! Some of these notes might go back more than one week...
  1. Update on Abby's teeth: The last time I checked she still just has the top 2 incisors, bottom 3 incisors, and THREE MOLARS! Crazy kid... hurry up and get the other two top incisors so your buck teeth don't look so silly...
  2. We went to a Halloween party last Saturday night. We were given a cow costume for Abby, so we based our outfits around hers. :)
  3. I think Abby's teeth were the cause of her miserable-ness earlier this month. This week she has been so fun to be around. She's actually starting to truly "play". She'll get her little barn and animals out and make them run around the room. Or try and stack blocks. Or lots of other things -- sometimes involving me, but also playing well on her own. I'm going to ask soon what toys she likes to play with in the church nursery and at our Friday daycare friend's house, to get some Christmas ideas...
  4. Abby is also working on expanding her vocabulary. I have to listen really hard to understand what she's saying, but some words are pretty clear -- up, cracker, apple/waffle... And every so often she'll mimic what we say. Not very well, but it's a start!
  5. Our first GEMS fundraiser of the year was a huge success! This was the third year we've participated in Hand 'n Hand, and it was our best one yet. The best part is that 30% of the money taken in stays with our club, and the rest goes to help GEMS clubs in Africa! And the money we raised for our club? This one fundraiser will easily pay for one of our leaders to go to next summer's Annual Leadership Conference in Chicago!!
  6. Our church is in the process of getting a new pastor. We've had a "specialized transitional minister" for about 2 years, and his purpose has been to help us heal from some of the issues and divisions we've been having, and guide us toward a place where we can call a new permanent pastor. The next 3 Sundays we have potential candidates coming to preach, and so hopefully we'll be able to extend a call to one of them before Christmas! 
  7. Our small group went on a date night last night to a movie and dinner. We saw Courageous. It's made by the same people who did Facing the Giants and Fireproof. It's a great movie for couples to see together, and even moms or dads with their teenage sons. I was glad someone told me ahead of time to bring some kleenex...
Have a great week!

The Saturday 7: Post seven things that happened to you this week. Just a quick summary. Things you might not necessarily write a whole blog post about. Idea taken from Sadie's Lovin' Life with Lucy.

Friday, October 28, 2011

They grow up so fast...

Yesterday morning I happened to look out the window just as the mail carrier drove up to our box. And I saw him deliver a bright orange package. Ahhhh! Yay! I know what that is!! I grabbed Abby and hurriedly put on some shoes and rushed out to the mailbox to find this:

I'd had some photos printed for Rocky to take to work, and a few for me to pin up behind the computer where I work too. And then I'd printed the remainder I needed to accomplish this:

Finally, a way to fill up that big empty wall space! I had started taking monthly pictures of Abby on the couch when she turned two months old. For her first birthday I'd printed those first 12 months and strung them up at her party:

But then they just sat on top of her dresser. Until this week, when I got this idea. All it took was a ruler (to get a consistent distance from the ceiling!) and a pack of poster putty. After her 2nd birthday I'll probably move everything up and put the first row against the ceiling. Not sure if I'll keep both the full body pictures and the head shots, or just do one or the other.

It's fun to see how she's grown in 17 months. But then I can REALLY see how she's grown... Sigh. My little girl isn't so little anymore...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Last night around 9:00 my husband got a phone call from a fellow astronomy-buff. He told Rocky that there was a good chance to see the Northern Lights that night. Rocky was at a stopping point in writing his grad school paper, and Abby was sound asleep, so we put on our coats and hats and walked down the street to the darker part of the neighborhood.

We didn't see much of anything except a greenish haze across the northern sky. We knew it was more than just the lights from the next city north of us, but said "if this is the Northern Lights, it's pretty boring." We stargazed for a couple minutes, then turned around and headed back to the house.

We were literally in the driveway, about to go inside, when we both said "what's that?!" as a long streak of greenish-white shot up from the horizon. We backtracked a few yards into the street and watched as the streak grew bigger, then turned red, then watched the entire northern sky come ablaze in greens and reds. We felt like little kids, full of giddiness and adrenaline as we hurried back to the part of the neighborhood without street lights. We sat on the curb, facing the northern sky, watching the colors slowly come ablaze, then fade, then come ablaze again. We quickly called our closest friends and family and told them to "look outside!!"

Even now I get shivers thinking about what we saw.

The display lasted about 10-15 minutes, and I tried to get a few pictures. My point-and-shoot camera doesn't have quite enough settings to get the desired result, but I adjusted the colors and contrast a bit in photoshop, and here is the best I could do:

And these were taken towards the very end of the display, so it barely even captures what we saw...

Have you ever seen the Northern Lights? This was the first time for both Rocky and me. Cross that off our bucket lists. :)

I'll leave you with the words a friend of mine posted on Facebook this morning, after having seen the lights last night.
We climb mountains and say that God is majestic.
We walk along a beach at sunset and proclaim that God is an artist.
We see amazing sites like the grand canyon and announce God's power.
We see the Northern Lights and declare it the glory of the Lord.
Now if only we could look in the mirror and see the same thing as we do when we look at the rest of God's creation.

Have a beautiful day!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Musical Mondays: How Great

The Glory Revealed projects are two of my most favorite cds. Sung by a collaboration of Christian artists, each song is taken directly from Scripture. This particular song is from 1 John 3:1. This is probably my favorite style of music too -- a sort of folk, Americana feel. May this song lift your spirit and fill you with joy today!

How great is the love the Father has poured out on us
That we should be called the children of God
How great is the love the Father has poured out on us
That we should be called the children of God

How great how great
Is God's amazing grace
That we should be called the children of God

How great how great
That we believe our faith
And we can be called the children of God

How great is the love the Father that he sent his only Son
That we could be called the children of God
We will never perish if we believe in him
And we can be called the children of God

How great how great
Is God's amazing grace
That we should be called the children of God

How great how great
That we believe our faith
And we can be called the children of God 

That is what we are
Sons and daughters of God
Oh by this we know love
That he laid down his life for us

How great is the love the Father has poured out on us
That we should be called the children of God

How great how great
Is God's amazing grace
That we should be called the children of God

How great how great
That we believe our faith
And we can be called the children of God 

Yes we can be called the children of God

Musical Mondays -- Pick a song, post the song, tell why you love the song!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Get more use from your candles

Rain rain go away... It rained ALL day yesterday and it's going to be raining ALL day today. They're talking 2-3 inches by the time this system moves out. You know what I love on rainy days? Blankets. And hot cocoa. And candles.

I love candles. My hubby doesn't. So I never burn them while he's home, but while he's away at work...

I do enjoy dollar store and other cheap candles. But nothing beats a Yankee Candle. I've received a number of them as gifts over the last few years, mostly the small ones but occasionally the bigger ones too. I love so many options of scents, and I rotate them throughout the year. But eventually this happens:

It burns out. Sad day. :(

But look how much wax is still in there!! I love this candle! I'm not ready to be done with it!!

Enter the greatest-invention-ever in candle-burning: the wax warmer! There are so many different styles available. I was given one as a gift a number of years ago, along with 3 "tarts" of different scents. I've since purchased a few, found a few at a yard sale, and made my own.

I took a spoon and scraped all that Harvest Candle goodness out of the jar, lit a tea-light candle, and let the wax warmer do it's work. A few minutes later, my house was once again smelling like that beautiful candle...

So now I can enjoy another couple of weeks days (you know I'll go through it quickly... :) of this smell!

One secret about the tart warmer, that I didn't discover until I'd had it at least a year: If you want to switch tarts, all you have to do is stick the whole warmer in the freezer (after the wax has cooled and solidified of course!) for about 10 minutes, and the tart will pop right out!

Store the label and the tart in a plastic bag. So easy!

What is your favorite candle scent?

**I am NOT writing this post for Yankee Candle. I have NOT received any compensation, or free products, from writing this post. I just love this stuff. :) **

Monday, October 17, 2011

Faith and Deeds

It's always interesting to me when something I've been reading about in my own personal quiet time gets emphasized Sunday morning. It makes me stop and listen more closely, and roll things around in my head.

I've been part of an online Bible study the past month where we're going through the book of 1 John a verse or two each day. Two weeks ago we were in the beginning of chapter 2, and the verses that stuck out to me specifically were verses 3-6:

We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

I liked what my Life Application Study Bible had to say about v.6: "To 'walk as Jesus did' or living as Christ did doesn't mean choosing 12 disciples, performing great miracles, and being crucified... To talk today as Christ did we must obey his teachings and follow his example of complete obedience to God and loving service to people."

Then in church we're going through the book of James, and yesterday's message was about chapter 2 verses 14-26:

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that — and shudder.

You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

Some of these verses seem to walk a tricky line. Works (deeds) are not required for salvation -- belief in Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross for our sins and his resurrection are all that is needed to spend eternity in heaven.

Yet James says faith without deeds is dead.

image source
Maybe it has to do with the word "complete". It appears in both the 1 John passage: "If anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him." and in James: "His [Abraham's] faith was made complete by what he did."

The life of a Christian is a process. When someone makes a decision to follow Christ, believing in His death and resurrection, that is the beginning of the process -- it doesn't end there. The actions and deeds and obeying God that follow are what show that our commitment to God is real. They help complete our faith -- they alone don't define it.


Spoons aren't just for eating

In my Versatile Blogger post last week, I mentioned that I collect spoons. They are currently displayed in my dining room, and since I missed the dining room day on Roomspiration, I thought I'd give you a peak into my {simple-nothing-too-exciting} dining room! :)

See that cute girl eating her breakfast? I like her. :)

I think I've said before that we have an open floor plan, so the kitchen, dining room, and living room are all one big room. In this picture, I'm standing in the kitchen, and the living room is to the right.

One of the things that first attracted me to this house was the yellow walls in the kitchen & dining room. With the wood (laminate) floors, I thought it looked so warm and cheerful, and yellow is one of my favorite colors! (can ya tell? based on the colors of this blog?? :) Our dining table was given to me when I was in high school -- I used it as a computer desk in my bedroom for a number of years. And the chairs... Given to us when we cleaned out Rocky's grandma's storage unit. New chairs are on our Christmas list every year.

There used to be a huge painting in the middle of that wall, the previous owners must not have liked it enough to take it with them... Well it wasn't our favorite either. It was just of a door and walkway, in colors we didn't like. So it came down. In it's place, last Christmas I put together this picture collage of our first year with Abby.

I uploaded the photos to Shutterfly and created a 20x30 poster, got a cheap poster frame, and actually hung it on the wall in wrapping paper and a bow on Christmas Eve. :) I hope to make a new collage every year, and keep the previous ones, so we can see how Abby grows!

Now about the spoons! My collection first started when I was 4 years old and my mom, dad, and I took a vacation across the western U.S. They bought me a collectors spoon in each state we visited.

For YEARS (read: until I was 25) the spoons stayed in their boxes, often in a shoe box. I'd take them out every so often and look at them, arrange them by name or in chronological order of when I got them ('cause I'm like that...). I spent the summer between my sophomore and junior years of college doing youth ministry in Boulder Colorado. On the drive there and back, I managed to add 5 more spoons to my collection of 12. Then I was hooked, and starting looking for spoons every new place I went.

Our honeymoon in Ohio, attractions in Chicago and St. Louis, and eventually our trip to Europe in the summer of 2008. Rocky got me a spoon rack for Christmas one of those years, and another one the year after since I'd quickly filled up the first!

Rocky's mom passed away from cancer in the summer of 2004, and his dad remarried 6 years later. Last summer the family did some hard-core cleaning at his house. Linda had also collected spoons, and even though they were all places I had never been, I gladly took them to add to my collection.

So my collection jumped from 38 to 75. And since each rack only holds 24 spoons...

I'm asking for another rack for Christmas this year. :) There are some REALLY neat spoons that need a home...

What about you? Do you collect anything? Anything common, anything different?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Versatile Bloggers

ver·sa·tile - adj - embracing a variety of subjects, fields, or skills; turning with ease from one thing to another.

I was super excited to check my comments and discover that Elizabeth over at One Mom's Moxie had chosen me as a recipient for the Versatile Blogger Award! How fun!! Thank you thank you thank you Elizabeth!!!

Here are the official rules for this award:

  • Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.

  • Tell your readers seven (7) things about yourself.

  • Give this award to fifteen (15) recently discovered bloggers.

  • Contact those bloggers and let them in on the exciting news.

Ok then, seven things about me... Beware: some of these are pretty random... :)

  1. I love to read. When I was little I spent a lot of time alone (my brother is 6 1/2 years younger than me) and I read A LOT of books. My favorite day of the week was Fridays when I could go to the library and get the next 2-3 books in whatever series I happened to be in.

  2. I collect spoons. Not eating spoons, but souvenir spoons. It started when I was 4 and went on a trip out west with my mom & dad. They bought me a collector's spoon in every state we visited. I now try and look for a spoon every time we go somewhere new. I have 38 of my own, and 22 from my late mother-in-law, who also collected spoons.

  3. I took a sheep management class in college. I got to do things like castrate lambs and spend the night in the sheep barn just off campus watching for baby lambs to be born. (I went to Michigan State University :)

  4. I was a drum major in my high school marching band. It was an interesting role for me, as I was (and still am) quite the introverted person. But I decided to go for it, and was one of 3 drum majors both my junior and senior years. Marching band is probably the only thing I miss about high school.

  5. Speaking of high school, I do have one regret: that I never was involved in the school plays. A lot of my friends were in them, but between my introverted personality, and my super-busy schedule with 4H and church, I never tried out. I now go and watch a number of high school dramas each year (I know a lot of school-age kids, plus Rocky runs lights & sound for the school he teaches at), and I find myself wishing I'd done it. There just aren't the opportunities for that kind of thing now.

  6. Have you ever taken those personality quizzes that rank you based on 4 animals -- lion, otter, beaver, golden retriever? I am very much a beaver. VERY much. A few points in the lion and golden retriever categories, none in the otter. Lots in the beaver category.

  7. I have never met an ice cream I didn't like. Seriously. I like any flavor I've ever tried. It doesn't help me lose my pregnancy weight though...

Ok enough about me! Time to pick some winners! In alphabetical order:

The Better Mom -- "We are just moms who desire to be “better” even though we are busy. We believe God has placed a high-calling on our lives as we raise children who will impact the world, take care of our homes, love our husbands, and ultimately honor God with our lives. We would love to have you share in our journey! Mission Statement: Our mission is to build God-honoring homes by inspiring moms to be better moms through sharing life and learning together."

Cedar Hill Ranch -- "Cedar Hill Ranch is about creating a relaxed lifestyle and home that is also graceful and beautiful, a place that embraces family and friends in a comfortable way while making them feel special and celebrated. I think of French life being about family and friends in a beautiful setting, sitting around a outdoor table with good food and good conversation. I write about how to create a home that embraces your family and guests with interior design ideas, DIY projects, antiques, vintage dishes, great recipes, entertaining, and anything else I find interesting or helpful."

Coolest Family on the Block -- "I like to blog about our family and the traditions we're creating together. I love to help you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family. I'm also trying to go green, organic, vegetarian, and possibly crazy. Join me won't you?"

Eat What You've Got -- "Helping you control your budget by inspiring you to use the items you have on-hand. Good old-fashioned "making do with what you've got."

Growing Home -- "We're passionate about God's design for the family! We try to encourage ladies in God's design by sharing thoughts on Christian living, homeschooling, homemaking, and biblical femininity. We offer frugal tips, recipes, menu plans, gardening ideas, and a growing resource of wonderful blogs and literature that we've come to love and appreciate along the way."

I Can Teach My Child -- "You are your child’s first teacher! This site is dedicated to parents–mother and fathers, stay-at-home parents and working parents. Spend a few minutes each day investing in your child–and a lifetime of rewards they will reap! Within this site, you will find activities for young children, resources for parents, some crafts, and an occasional parenting tip or two!"

Joy Ever After -- "Inspiring joy in the relationships and role of daughters of the King." Posts about marriage, children, devotions, and the home.

My Heart's Desire -- "I am a homeschooling mom, a caretaker for my disabled mother, and a child of God. My purpose is to remember all the blessings God has given me. Through my writing I want to share ideas, experiences, and support to others. I hope you will gain insight and strength from my posts. As homeschooling parents we are the front line to raising future leaders, and the next generation of productive members of this wonderful world God created for us."

Natural Living -- "Simple Cuisine, Elegant Flavors and Real Food."

The Peaceful Mom -- "The Peaceful Mom is a blog dedicated to helping women everywhere gain peace and fulfillment through better organization, focused priorities and purposeful living."

Raising the Barrs -- "We do some pretty normal stuff like watching our favorite movies over and over again, and taking walks in the evenings when the weather is nice. We also do some (ok, a lot of) not-quite-so-normal stuff like co-sleeping, eating traditional foods, family cloth (including cloth diapers), extended breastfeeding, natural family planning, and living frugally on one income. There are some down right weird things that we do too. You’ll mostly be spared those. :) This blog is our place to share about the things that we are passionate about and the things that we are learning."

Romance on a Dime -- "Sharing adventures in healthy cooking, money saving, and DIY-ing"

A Slice of Smith Life -- "I am a homeschool mom of 4 whose one of many passions is creating and decorating birthday cakes for my "cupcakes". "A Slice of Smith Life" is also a way for me to document other areas of our family's life that are important to us. I hope you enjoy your visit here!"

Sunshine Sentiments -- "It seemed as though everywhere I looked I saw mostly bad news. It began to make me grumpy, sad, depressed, upset and unsettled (kind of sounds like a bad dwarf casting call from Snow White, doesn't it?) Then I noticed how often I was beginning to expect bad news. My glass was being reconfigured -- more half-empty than half-full. The lenses through which I view the world were turning gray. Sunshine Sentiments is my attempt to remind myself about all the positive, inspirational, encouraging things around me -- to let a little light in."

Sweep. Sew. Stir. -- "Currently, I struggle with keeping the house clean and organized, as many of us do. But my goal is to perfect a variety of homemaking skills. I’ll be tackling new projects all the time and sharing my successes and failures along the way. You’ll find articles containing inspirational pictures (because we all need a little motivation), cleaning and organizing tips and methods, delicious recipes, cooking techniques, and decorating ideas. Plus, you’ll get to see me battle with learning new skills such as sewing, crocheting, meal planning, and more. It’s bound to be both frustrating and fun!"

I hope you can find some great new reading material from these blogs! They are all part of MY Google Reader! :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mmmm applesauce...

'Tis that time of year! Fall is in full swing here in Michigan, and after today where temps might touch 80* one more time, it's back to sweatshirt weather. Yay!

Yesterday I had a real desire (I'm NOT calling it a craving because it might start some pregnancy rumors...) for some homemade applesauce. I actually love it frozen -- I grew up getting a container from the freezer, microwaving it for a few seconds, then scraping the chunk of apple-ice with a spoon. Yum!

I saw a few blogs and a few people on Facebook mention crockpot applesauce, and I really wanted to give it a try. Problem? No apples in this house. So I put out a plea on Facebook:

But had no takers. So in the evening after Rocky got home I had to go grocery shopping anyway, and I picked up two bags of apples (3 lb bags for $2 each). This morning after breakfast I took my apple slicer and a knife and got to work. I only did one of the bags, I wanted to see how long it would take and how much it would make and how it would taste. Put the slow cooker on low, added a 1/4 cup of water, a dash of cinnamon, and a little brown sugar, and 3 hours later my house smelled AMAZING. I mashed it up, took some out to cool for Abby's lunch, and took a bite myself. Wowsers! I don't think I'm ever going to eat store-bought again... As soon as it's cooled to room temperature I'm putting most of it in freezer containers!

Then I gave some to Abby... and she promptly spit it out. It wasn't too hot, I'd just tried it. Maybe too tart? Too chunky? I don't know. What a punk. Way to hurt my feelings.

Do you make your own applesauce?



Musical Mondays (belated): My Next Thirty Years

Today's Musical Monday post is somewhat purposefully belated... It's my hubby's birthday today, and I wanted to share this song in honor of him. :) I love you Rocky! Your next 30 years will be the best years of your life!!

I think I’ll take a moment, celebrate my age
The ending of an era and the turning of a page
Now it’s time to focus in on where I go from here
Lord have mercy on my next thirty years

Hey my next thirty years I’m gonna have some fun
Try to forget about all the crazy things I’ve done
Maybe now I’ve conquered all my adolescent fears
And I’ll do it better in my next thirty years

My next thirty years I’m gonna settle all the scores
Cry a little less, laugh a little more
Find a world of happiness without the hate and fear
Figure out just what I’m doing here
In my next thirty years

Oh my next thirty years, I’m gonna watch my weight
Eat a few more salads and not stay up so late
Drink a little lemonade and not so many beers
Maybe I’ll remember my next thirty years

My next thirty years will be the best years of my life
Raise a little family and hang out with my wife
Spend precious moments with the ones that I hold dear
Make up for lost time here, in my next thirty years
In my next thirty years

Monday, October 10, 2011

Waffles: an easy, on-the-go food

We frequently have mornings where I let Abby sleep in as long as I dare, then get her up and dressed and in the car within 10 minutes. This doesn't leave much time for breakfast! As the most important meal of the day, including for little ones, she needs to eat something. Enter "Oh Boy Waffles!"

This recipe came from my husband's family. The best part is that it makes A LOT of waffles, so I will always make a full batch and whatever we don't eat fresh get frozen. And when it's time to rush out of the house in the morning (or for an afternoon snack!), a frozen waffle is Abby's best friend.

Oh Boy Waffles

2 1/2 cups flour (I will often use wheat flour for at least 1 cup)
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tb sugar
2 eggs - beaten
2 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup oil

Sift together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients and add all at once to dry. Beat only until moistened. Bake in waffle maker according to maker's instructions.

Makes 16-20 waffles

Now here is where I tell you how I cheat in this recipe. I use my 6-cup glass measuring bowl (this is the only recipe I use that big thing for...), add the dry ingredients, then the wet ingredients. I don't use two separate bowls. I'm THAT against doing no more dishes than I have to...

Because this bowl has a spout, I can just pour the batter directly onto the waffle maker. No need to dirty another scooper. :) I'm thinking in a few years we'll need to invest in (or ask for Christmas) a larger waffle maker -- it takes a loooooong time to cook all of the waffles with this thing:

And I inevitably make a mess... At least by doing a full, big batch all at once I only need to clean the waffle maker once in a while...

Abby loves waffles. Now that she's just starting to talk, I love asking her "do you want a waffle?!" And she points at the freezer and says "affa". :)

(she has added another tooth on the bottom since this picture was taken. :)

Have a great week!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Book Talk Thursday: A Mud Pie for Mother

A Mud Pie for Mother by Scott Beck is one of the books we received last spring from the Imagination Library. It sat on the shelf for awhile, but once Abby discovered it, it quickly became a new favorite! It's one of the first books she's actually searched for on the shelf, then taken it and plopped in my lap for me to read to her. So cute!

It tells the story of a little pig who needs a gift for his mother's birthday. He visits other farm animals, who all give an excuse why the pig shouldn't take the things he sees. So he gets sad that he can't find a gift for mother pig's birthday. But it has a happy ending. :)

The pictures are very simple and there are only a couple of sentences per page. It's a great chance to teach Abby animal sounds as the little pig visits a bee, cow, chicken...

I think there was one day when Abby had me read it five times in a row...

A very fun, little-known book! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I want to know You more

"We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. Whoever says 'I know him,' but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did." --1 John 2:3-6

Whew! Quite a few if-then statements here, all basically saying the same thing.

If we obey his commands and walk as Jesus did, then we have truly come to know him and God's love is complete in us.

If we don't obey, then we are liars and hypocrites.


[It's not salvation at stake, just our everyday life of trying to know him more.]

Author Brennan Manning has said, "The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable." I wrote about this idea a little bit a few months ago. I can't change the way other people walk. But I can change myself.

My Life Application Study Bible has this note: "To 'walk as Jesus did' or living as Christ did doesn't mean choosing 12 disciples, performing great miracles, and being crucified. We cannot merely copy Christ's life -- much of what Jesus did had to do with his identity as God's Son, the fulfillment of his special role in dying for sin, and the cultural context of the first-century Roman world. To walk today as Christ did we must obey his teachings and follow his example of complete obedience to God and loving service to people."

Our GEMS theme song for this year is "I Want to Know You More." We're going to be teaching the girls how to "Get Wisdom" from the book of Proverbs. This should be the desire of ALL of our hearts. Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.  What will your walk look like today?


Monday, October 3, 2011

Musical Mondays: Just Another Day in Paradise

This has always been one of those "feel-good" songs for me. Some days life just sucks. Everything seems to go wrong. But I look at Rocky and Abby and realize I wouldn't trade it for anything...

The kids screaming, phone ringing
Dog barking at the mailman bringing
That stack of bills - overdue
Good morning baby, how are you?
Got a half hour, quick shower
Take a drink of milk but the milk's gone sour
My funny face makes you laugh
Twist the top on and I put it back
There goes the washing machine
Baby, don't kick it.
I promise I'll fix it
Long about a million other things

Well, it's ok, it's so nice
It's just another day in paradise
Well, there's no place that
I'd rather be
Well, it's two hearts
And one dream
I wouldn't trade it for anything
And I ask the Lord every night
For just another day in paradise

Friday, you're late
Guess we'll never make our dinner date
At the restaurant you start to cry
Baby, we'll just improvise
Well, plan B looks like
Dominoes' pizza in the candle light
Then we'll tiptoe to our room
Make a little love that's overdue
But somebody had a bad dream
Mama and daddy
Can me and my teddy
Come in to sleep in between?

Yeah it's ok, it's so nice.
It's just another day in paradise.
Well, there's no place that
I'd rather be
Well, it's two hearts
And one dream
I wouldn't trade it for anything
And I ask the Lord every night
For just another day in paradise

Musical Mondays -- Pick a song, post the song, tell why you love the song!

Girls and their stuff

I've decided I want to let Abby's hair grow out rather than giving her bangs. Once she gets older, if we think she'll look better with bangs, we'll cut it, but in the meantime it's all staying put. Which means she's in this stage:

Not long enough to tuck behind her ears. It doesn't seem to bother her, but it does bug me... Luckily we were given lots of hair clips (and have bought a few too)

I do have to readjust it several times a day, but it's worth it. So of course she has lots of colors -- she's a girl, her accessories have to coordinate with her outfit! ;) Up until this morning, here is where they all were kept:

Her "accessory drawer", as I like to call it... Shoes, socks, hats, hair bows... But do you realize how difficult it can be to find a specific bow to wear during the Sunday morning rush-around-we're-late-for-church? So down to the sewing room I went. Found a ribbon. And a thumbtack.

(Yes, she does have a blue and yellow clip. No, it's NOT for U of M. I can't help it that the school my husband teaches at has the same school colors as my alma mater's arch-rival...)

Tada! I just tacked it on the wall next to the door and changing table, where we get her dressed in the morning.

Just enough out-of-reach. :) Why didn't I do this a year ago?!

On another note, I've got an idea in my head for what to finally do with that big blank blue wall... Just gotta get some poster putty... Hopefully I'll make it happen and post the results by the end of the week!! :)

Today's edition of Roomspiration is all about Closets and Nooks. Go check out the link party at The Blooming Hydrangea for some really creative ideas! I wish we had space for a really nice closet or a reading nook!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Saturday 7: September 24-30

  1. Abby decided her 6th tooth was going to be a molar. She now has 2 top and 3 bottom incisors, and the bottom right first molar starting to poke through. I think that's what's been making her miserable all week.
  2. She has been SO fussy and clingy!! I can't get ANYTHING done because she freaks out as soon as I set her down!! (ok she doesn't do it all the time, but most of the time...)
  3. She was sick last weekend. Threw up on Saturday evening, and during the night the next two nights, and had diarrhea pretty bad on Sunday-Monday. On Monday all she wanted to do was cuddle. Which I was fine with. We read lots of books and watched some Baby Einstein. She didn't eat much of anything. Just yesterday she finally got her appetite back and holy cow! She'll almost eat more than me the last few meals!
  4. It's October, which means baseball playoffs! I don't mind watching baseball throughout the year, but I'm not one of those die-hard fans that knows the ins and outs of their team. But now that the Tigers have been on a great streak, I'm actually wanting to watch their games. Here's to hoping for the World Series!
  5. It's October, which means the heart of fall!! Pumpkins, apple cider, sweatshirts, candles... Mmmm... :)
  6. Keeping a budget is tough. September was the first month that we've truly sat down and planned out how much we were going to spend in each category, and try to stick to it. I went over our initial grocery budget (but we readjusted things toward the end of the month so it turned out ok) and realized I hadn't bought any meat all month except a family pack of hamburger. :( Grrr how do I make this work?! And we have like NO money for anything extra like a movie or clothes or birthday gifts... Sigh. I guess we'll just keep plugging away...
  7. Abby learned a new animal noise this week. What does a chicken say? Cluck cluck cluck! Soooooo cute. :)
The Saturday 7: Post seven things that happened to you this week. Just a quick summary. Things you might not necessarily write a whole blog post about. Idea taken from Sadie's Lovin' Life with Lucy.
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